#girlboss

It’s a term I absolutely love! According to a popular Netflix movie, a #girlboss is strong, smart, resilient, opinionated, confident and feisty! Do you agree? If not, no worries! Everyone has a different definition. While the point is to define what being a #girlboss means FOR YOU, the more important thing is to BE THAT. In your personal life, work life or however else you define your life.

BE. THE. BOSS. OF. YOUR. OWN. LIFE.

Not someone else’s. Live your best life. Stay in your lane and mind your own business. 🙋🏽 If you need to find (or re-find) inspiration you can listen to a #girlboss playlist (Spotify), read a #girlboss book, check out #girlboss quotes on Pinterest, set up a #girlboss lockscreen on your phone or take a #girlboss trip. #whateverworks

LIVE. THE. LIFE. YOU. WANT. MAKE. IT. HAPPEN.

You can be 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 or 100+! Just know that while you are doing all those things, so are others and it’s okay! For me, being a #girlboss means protecting my space and my peace. I guard that very closely because most times I just CANNOT!!!! 🚫

FIND. YOUR. PASSION. AND. DO. THAT.

FACT: I like writing and paper. And guess what? So do A LOT of other people. As normal, we take the things we love whole new #levels! See also: Planner Situation, my current favorite pen (there’s nothing wrong with a little bling!) or Shop PaperSource. Another one of my personal #girlboss criteria is to have order in my life – in written form of course – (and to look the part 😉)! The essential item I use to do this is an agenda. Mine is currently being repaired and I feel SO VERY stifled. 😩

You may have noticed I underlined a few words above: FIND, BE, DO, LIVE. They are all verbs because at the heart of being a #girlboss is to take ACTION.

GO. GET. IT. 🖤

Pare Down

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 5.55.38 PMI can be “extreme”. Just last week I got rid of 50%+ of my clothes. All donated to The Goodwill, of course. I do this periodically. Some people think it’s strange. #shrug I’m not sure if I did it because I’m a semi-minimalist or if it’s because I like to buy fancy new things. Actually, I hate clutter and whenever I “feel myself accumulating too much stuff” I like to purge, or pare down as The Minimalists would say. In my head, I want my closet to look like the picture on the left – no more. There’s actually a game for this called The 30-Day Minimalism Game.

Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.

A few days ago I mentioned how I was getting into podcasts. Well, I found a new one that makes me feel less strange about my periodic paring down episodes! One day it’s clothes, the next day it may be jewelry, shoes, books, whatever I feel at the moment. The name of the podcast is The Minimalists, hosted by 2 guys: Joshua and Ryan. Their podcast/movement is extremely popular and The Chicago Tribune recently wrote a piece where they encourage everyone to Pare Down.

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The best way to understand “The Minimalists” is to watch their most popular TED talk, A Rich Life with Less Stuff or listen to their latest podcast. The duo also has a documentary that debuts next week! Of course I bought tickets for me and my husband (blank stare… he has tendencies, ok?) and I am super excited to see the film, right here in Atlantic Station next Wednesday! You can find Minimalism in a theater near you here. Make your own definition of Minimalism in whatever space best suits you! #youarenotalone #purge #paredown #befree #minimalism

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Three Little Words

This post is amazing; however it is not my own and was posted, in its entirety, on LinkedIn. The article is so great, I plan to read the author’s book, The Introvert Entrepreneur.

One rainy afternoon a few years ago, I was driving into Seattle for a networking event when my husband called me on my cell. I answered (this was pre-hands-free law) and listened, noting the barely perceptible panic in his voice: something unexpected had come up, and he needed the car for an off-site meeting. Since I was in the car, traveling up I-5 at 65mph in the opposite direction from him, he clearly had a problem.

There was a time when I would have sighed, said, “I’ll be right there,” and gotten off at the next exit and turned around. He called me with a problem; I had to save the day, right? I would have felt mildly annoyed but, in a twisted way, virtuous for having come to his rescue and fixed his problem. (Oh, and my strong introvert side would have felt relieved… no networking event!)

But that’s not how this story ends. I listened to his description of the situation and said, “Oh dear, I’m sorry to hear that. How else can you get to the meeting?” We brainstormed for a moment, he said, “I’ll figure it out,” and we hung up. And I forgot about the conversation until I got home later that evening.

This might not be a big deal to some people, but it was a true turning point for me. It was one of the first times I’d intentionally taken a concept I learned in coach training and put it into practice personally: see and hold others as whole, capable, and resourceful.

While the three words are simple, the concept is a game-changer.

If I choose to hold someone else as whole, capable, and resourceful, I see her not as a person to rescue, but a person to respect. Not broken, but healthy. Not helpless, but self-reliant. Not clueless, but creative.

So when I listened to my husband and didn’t offer to swoop in and make it all better, I was actually respecting his capacity to solve his problem. I was reminding him, in so many words, that he can take care of himself. I can offer support and a sympathetic ear, but I don’t have to abandon my own priority to take care of his. I trust that he can handle it (which increases his trust in himself). And I don’t assume my solution is his solution.

That’s a fairly obvious and simple example. There’s not a lot of emotion surrounding the situation, nor are the consequences dire. But how does it apply to more complicated situations? And why is it important to introverts?

I use the concept of whole, capable, and resourceful every single day. It primarily comes up in my coaching work. Each session, I listen to clients share their business or personal challenges, some of which are fairly profound. I have to check any urge to solve their problems. My job isn’t to give them advice and tell them what they should do (they get enough of that from other people). My job is to support the client as seeing himself as whole, capable, and resourceful.

Most of the time, it’s easy. I’ve been practicing it for the past eight years, so it’s not something I actively think about too much. But I remember in the beginning, I’d almost be haunted by my clients’ stories. I’d carry their thoughts with me and feel their pain. There was only a thin veil between their energy and mine.

So much of being a healthy, happy introvert is about managing our energy. To do that, we often find we need to establish boundaries: around our quiet time, our work spaces, our social interaction. And depending on our personality, we might find those boundaries frequently being violated because of our equal need to help (to be of service), to feel needed, to show love by being the shoulder to cry on or the sympathetic ear.

Being “The Fixer” is a role many of us slip into, regardless of whether we’re introverted or extroverted. Introverts who tend to lean this way might do so because they feel relief when attention shifts from them to a problem to fix. Therefore, this becomes the perfect opportunity to practice establishing a boundary of compassionate detachment, one that allows us to be present for someone without getting roped into the drama.

  1. Release the idea that you need to fix the person or solve the problem. Let go of “The Fixer” identity. Be present and curious, without going into rescue mode.
  2. Soften your presence (your heart, eyes, mouth, hands, shoulders). Rather than brace yourself to take action, relax and listen without judgment or analysis.
  3. Remind yourself that the other person is an intelligent, resourceful human being, capable of handling the situation.
  4. Give her the gift of your attention, space to think, and your belief she can figure it out.
  5. Come from curiosity. Ask: “What options do you have?” “When have you been in this situation before, and what did you do then?” “What’s most important right now?” “Do you want me to do some brainstorming with you?” “What would support you best right now?” Create a space in which the other person feels supported, seen, and heard, while encouraging her take the lead in finding resolution.
  6. If you do give advice or feedback, or offer to help, do so without attachment. Let the other person decide what she needs.

I can hear some of you now: “Yeah, that would work with a person who has it together, but it wouldn’t work for my crisis-oriented, super-needy brother/co-worker/mother-in-law.”

I’ll grant you this: there are some people who have certain life challenges that may make it seem difficult – if not impossible – for you to see them as whole, capable, and resourceful. Try anyway. Find ways to see past the surface issues and speak to their higher self, the one that longs to be respected and cherished, to be seen as capable. Discern what’s going to serve the situation best; sometimes a rescue is required. But always question that assumption.

Because that’s the bottom line: when we treat others with dignity and respect, they often rise to the occasion, whether they believe in their own capacity or not. Your belief in them inspires belief in themselves. This allows you to be present and compassionate without giving away your power.

It takes time to build this muscle. Start by noticing when you jump into rescue mode, and practice solving the problem with, rather than for, the other person. Gradually release any feeling of responsibility for their solution, and instead focus on how you can create a space that empowers the other person to figure it out.

Carl Jung concluded, “As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” You don’t have to stamp out the darkness; simply be the gentle light that shines on the brilliance of others, so they can discover it for themselves.

Life is Like Tetris

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I ran across an amazing article at Medium.com, “Your Life Is Tetris. Stop Playing It Like Chess.” This article encompasses the very reason of why I love reading (and writing) blogs – people express themselves, compare things, and making amazing analogies. There are usually no canned thoughts and it’s very authentic. Before I capture the essence of the article I read, let’s talk a little about how these games work: In Tetris you are given varying shapes/blocks and your goal is to make them all fit evenly and score points in a set amount of time. There’s no competition, just you and those blocks. Each time you play, you try to beat your last game’s score. In Chess, there’s you and an opponent, each with the same “pieces” and the goal is to absolutely beat the other person – capture their king There can be only one winner and there is no time limit.

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The author compare these two games to The Game of Life, which i’ve written about before. (Click HERE for a review). The entire article is an great read; but here’s a summary: (my commentary in pink)

  1. In life, your only opponent is yourself. The real game of life is completely internal. STOP TRYING TO COMPETE/COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS. FOCUS ON BEING THE VERY BEST VERSION OF YOU!
  2. In life, things don’t get harder — they just get faster. The only way to master life — like Tetris — is to learn to play with the same self-control at the highest speeds. LEARNING TO ADAPT TO AD REMAIN CLAM IN ANY AND EVERY SITUATION IS WHAT SEPARATES DRAMA QUEENS FROM THE REST OF THE SAME POPULATION.  RELAX.
  3. In life, you can’t control the board. Like Tetris, you can simply put yourself in the best possible position without seeking to completely control the system you play in. YOU’VE HEARD THE SAYING, PLAY THE HAND YOU’VE BEEN DEALT. IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE CARDS YOU’VE BEEN HANDED (OR SELECTED FOR YOURSELF), GO OUT AND GET NEW ONES. NO ONE OWES A NEW HAND.
  4. In life, no one tells you when you’ve won. I don’t play to win — I play to play. WHAT DOES WINNING MEAN TO YOU? YOUR WINNING != TO MY WINNING. HAVE FUN! ENJOY LIFE! CELEBRATE THE SMALL THINGS. ONLY YOU CAN DETERMINE WHEN YOU’VE WON.

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